What Are The Dangers Of Radiotherapy Prostate Cancer Treatment
Radiotherapy is considered effective for treatment of cancer with a success rate of above 90%. But is it safe for prostate cancer treatment? Does it cause any side effects? And if yes, are radiation therapy side effects reversible?
Well, radio frequency is pain-free and considered safe for prostate cancer treatment. To help you understand the safety of this procedure we shall look at both the short and long-term side effects resulting from this treatment.
What You Can Do To Help
Drink plenty of fluids at least 6 to 8 glasses each day. Dont cut down on your fluids. You can drink plenty during the day, but it might help to limit fluids 2 hours before bedtime.
Some people think that cranberry juice can help but others feel it makes the soreness worse. Research studies havent found that it helps. Dont drink cranberry juice if you are taking warfarin.
You might find that some drinks increase the soreness, such as tea and coffee. You can experiment for yourself and see what works for you. Dont take potassium citrate, which is an old fashioned remedy for cystitis. You might hear it called mist pot cit for short. This drug can be very harmful if taken in large amounts.
You might notice blood in the urine. Let your doctor know if this happens. It usually stops after a few days or weeks. In some men it may last for months or years.
What Is Kidney Cancer
Kidney cancer is cancer that starts in the cells of the kidney. The most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma , accounting for about 90% of all cases. Usually only one kidney is affected, but in rare cases the cancer may develop in both kidneys.
Other less common types include:
- Uroethelial carcinoma which can begin in the ureter or renal pelvis where the kidney and ureter meet. It is generally treated like bladder cancer.
- Wilms tumour, which is most common in younger children although it is still rare.
It is estimated that 4377 people in Australia will be diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2021. Kidney cancer is more common in men â the risk of being diagnosed by age 85 is 1 in 47 for men compared to 1 in 100 for women.
The five year survival rate for kidney cancer is 79%.
You May Like: How To Deal With A Weak Bladder
Advanced Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Men with advanced prostate cancer may experience additional symptoms. Thats because the cancer has spread from the prostate to other parts of the body, such as the bones or lymph nodes.
A wide range of treatment options are available for managing advanced cancer. These treatments kill cancer cells, but they may also help patients manage pain.
Signs of metastatic prostate cancer may include:
- Swelling in legs or pelvic area
- Numbness or pain in the hips, legs or feet
- Bone pain that persists or leads to fractures
What Is A Late Effect
A late effect is a side effect that is caused by treatment but happens months to years after the cancer treatment has finished. Some side effects that you develop during treatment can last for months to years after treatment is completed . These are often called long-term side effects.
Late effects can be health issues or psychological, emotional, and practical challenges.
Also Check: How Can I Treat A Bladder Infection At Home
Prostate Cancer Caregiver Podcast Series
We are proud to announce a new podcast series geared toward helping give support, hope and guidance to prostate cancer caregivers. The goal of this Prostate Cancer Caregiver Podcast Series is to help others connect with a diverse group of people who have felt the impact of prostate cancer in their lives and empower them on their journey.
Read Also: Bladder Infection Clear Up On Its Own
Blood In Urine After Radiation For Prostate Cancer
The most common types of radiation for prostate cancer are external beam radiation and brachytherapy .
1. This type of radiation uses beams of radiation, which are focused on the prostate gland from a machine outside the body. Its very helpful in the early stage of prostate cancer or in cases when it is needed to relieve pain symptoms . Such treatment is usually done 5 days a week for several weeks, depending on the condition of the patient. External beam radiation for treatment of prostate cancer has different categories of treatment, such as:
- Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy
- Stereotactic body radiation therapy
- Proton beam radiation therapy.
2. Brachytherapy for prostate cancer also called seed radiation for prostate cancer uses very small balls or pellets, which are placed into the patients prostate. Seed radiation differs in the dosage rate of the radioactive material: permanent and temporary .
Also Check: Does Azo Bladder Control Help With Incontinence
What Types Of Testing Should I Expect For Monitoring My Condition
Since metastatic prostate cancer isnt curable, your doctor will most likely set up regular visits to check the cancers location, and to manage any long-term side effects from the cancer or any medication youre taking.
And since treatments for advanced prostate cancer are changing so fast and need to be given in a certain sequence to be the most effective, youll probably have not only a prostate cancer doctor but other specialists taking care of you. Your care team should coordinate closely, say the authors of a major study of such teams published in August 2015 in the journal Annals of Oncology.
Along with regularly testing your prostate-specific antigen levels, your care team may request blood tests that measure such prostate cancer indicators as alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase. Magnetic resonance imaging or PET scans of the spine or other bones can also help identify how your cancer responds to treatment.
If youve had radiation, youre at an increased risk for bladder and colorectal cancer and should get screened regularly for these as well.
The tests youll have and how often youll need them should be customized to you. Your care team will consider your overall health, medications that are safe for you to take, other health conditions you might have, and what stage your cancer was when you were diagnosed.
How Does The Robot
Sexual dysfunction following the RALP tends to be severe and difficult to treat. The RALP procedure can cause sexual dysfunction for the following several reasons:
- The RALP can damage the cavernosal nerves that are vital to the erection.
- The RALP can damage the blood supply to the penis.
- The RALP can cause scarring of the corpora cavernosa. The corpora are two long cylinders that run the length of the penis and they play a critical role in the erection.
- Scarring of the corpora cavernosa can also reduce the length of the penis
- The RALP completely removes the prostate. This results in a dry ejaculate no fluid comes out during orgasm.
- The RALP can produce urinary incontinence. Leakage of urine can decrease libido and interfere with overall sexual function.
- The RALP procedure can produce climacteric the passage of urine during orgasm.
You May Like: Bladder Cancer In Elderly Woman
Why Does Incontinence Happen After Prostate Cancer Surgery
There are two sphincter muscles that help men control their urine, also called being continent. These sphincters are:
- The internal urethral sphincter: You do not control your internal sphincter. It is found at the bottom of the bladder, called the “bladder neck. This is removed during a radical prostatectomy . The prostate cannot be taken out without also taking out the sphincter.
- The external urethral sphincter: The external sphincter is found below your prostate. You can control your external sphincter and use it to stop your urine stream. You can strengthen this sphincter with pelvic floor muscle exercises .
Normally, an intact, healthy external sphincter is enough to help you remain continent after surgery. However, RP can damage nerves, blood supply, supporting structures, or the muscle which can affect the external sphincter. This damage can lead to incontinence.
Resources For More Information
Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network
Offers education and support services, advances research, and raises awareness about bladder cancer. Has an extensive online resource library for bladder cancer patients.
American Bladder Cancer Society
The site is intended to offer help, hope, and support to anyone affected by bladder cancer. Bladder cancer information, resources, and a support forum are offered.
Recommended Reading: Cramping In Bladder Or Uterus
Prostatitis Vs Prostate Cancer Symptoms And Signs
- Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland the four types are acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis.
- Prostate cancer develops when abnormal prostate gland cells multiply without control and may metastasize to other organs.
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a noncancerous condition where normal prostate gland cells keep multiplying, thereby increasing the size of the prostate.
- Prostatitis usually does not lead to death, but prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, even though it is a slow-moving disease.
- Most men with early prostate cancer have no symptoms or signs symptoms and signs appear when the cancer becomes large enough to cause urinary blockage. Prostatitis, in contrast, usually appears with symptoms such as urinary frequency, urgency and/or pain with urination and possibly, some type of sexual dysfunction.
- Prostate cancer, when it produces signs and symptoms, may produce one or more of the following symptoms or signs that may also be seen in patients with prostatitis or BPH:
- Painful ejaculation
Also Check: How To Relax The Bladder Naturally
What Happens To The Prostate After Radiation
The entire prostate gland is radiated when we treat the cancer. The prostate normally produces some of the fluid in the ejaculation. Radiation therapy has the side effect of damaging the glands in the prostate, so a lot less fluid is produced. The ejaculation may be dry or nearly dry. In addition, you will probably be sterile after radiation, but this is not 100% guaranteed and should not be relied upon as a form of birth control. You can still usually have erections because the nerves and blood vessels that go to the penis are not as damaged as the prostate gland.
The prostate gland will end up having a lot of scar tissue. It will shrink in size to about half its original weight within a couple years after finishing radiation. The urethra passes through the canter of the prostate gland like the hole of a doughnut. Sometimes this passage can widen, other times it can shrink after radiation. In summary, the prostate gland is heavily damaged from radiation and does not work normally afterwards.
Read Also: What Antibiotics Treat Bladder Infection
How To Return To An Active Sex Life After Prostate Cancer Treatment
No matter the cancer, treatments often cause side effects that affect patients quality of life. But with prostate cancer, the potential side effects can be particularly concerning to men who are trying to decide which approach is right for them. Surgery, radiation therapy and other treatments may impact a patients sex life, causing challenges like low sex drive, loss of penis length, dry orgasm or low sperm counts. Despite the angst these issues may cause, experts say most of these side effects can be managed and many men have a good chance of returning to a full sex life after prostate cancer treatment.
Unfortunately, sexual dysfunction is a possibility for nearly all treatment options for prostate cancer, including surgery, says Scott Shelfo, MD, FACS, Medical Director of Urology at our hospital near Atlanta. The degree of dysfunction depends on many factors, including the patients overall health, co-existing medical problems, as well as the patients level of sexual function and ability before treatment.
What If These Treatments Do Not Work
If these do not work, you may be sent to a urologist for more tests on your bladder and sphincter. These tests will help decide what type of incontinence you have, how well your bladder is working, and what other treatments might be best for you. A urodynamic test and cystoscopy may be done. They are both done in the office, often during the same visit. The results help decide which procedure might be best for you.
- The urodynamics test places a very small catheter in your bladder, fills it with fluid, and measures bladder activity and pressure during filling and voiding . You will also be asked to cough and strain so your provider can see if and how easily you leak urine.
- A cystoscopy may also be done to look at the urethra, the anastomosis , and the bladder. After these tests, your provider will go over the results with you, and together you can decide what treatment would be best.
Also Check: Medications That Cause Overactive Bladder
Actions For This Page
- The prostate gland is a male reproductive organ that produces fluids to feed and protect sperm cells.
- Many men experience urinary changes as they age. In many cases, these changes do not need specific treatment.
- When urinary changes cause problems, they can be treated successfully by lifestyle changes, medication, surgery or a combination of the three.
- For problems such as blood in the urine, pain on urination, inability to urinate or uncontrollable urine flow, see your doctor promptly.
Also Check: What Antibiotics Treat Bladder Infection
When Is Radiation Therapy Used
There are some instances where the practitioners opt for radiotherapy for prostate cancer as opposed to other forms of treatment. Here are some of the situations in which radiation therapy may be used:
- As the first treatment of cancer, which is still confined to the prostate gland.
- It is used along with hormone therapy during the first treatment for prostate cancer that has extended the nearby tissues.
- After the reoccurrence of cancer in the area, it was before surgery.
- To keep cancer under control and relieve you from the symptoms for as long as possible if the cancer is advanced.
Recommended Reading: High Grade Bladder Cancer Recurrence
Treatment Of Metastatic Or Recurrent Urethral Cancer
For information about the treatments listed below, see the Treatment Option Overview section.
Treatment of recurrent urethral cancer may include one or more of the following:
Use our clinical trial search to find NCI-supported cancer clinical trials that are accepting patients. You can search for trials based on the type of cancer, the age of the patient, and where the trials are being done. General information about clinical trials is also available.
Treating Stage Iii Bladder Cancer
These cancers have reached the outside of the bladder and might have grown into nearby tissues or organs and/or lymph nodes . They have not spread to distant parts of the body.
Transurethral resection is often done first to find out how far the cancer has grown into the bladder wall. Chemotherapy followed by radical cystectomy is then the standard treatment.Partial cystectomy is rarely an option for stage III cancers.
Chemotherapy before surgery can shrink the tumor, which may make surgery easier. Chemo can also kill any cancer cells that could already have spread to other areas of the body and help people live longer. It can be especially useful for T4 tumors, which have spread outside the bladder. When chemo is given first, surgery to remove the bladder is delayed. The delay is not a problem if the chemo shrinks the cancer, but it can be harmful if it continues to grow during chemo. Sometimes the chemo shrinks the tumor enough that intravesical therapy or chemo with radiation is possible instead of surgery.
Some patients get chemo after surgery to kill any cancer cells left after surgery that are too small to see. Chemo given after cystectomy may help patients stay cancer-free longer, but so far its not clear if it helps them live longer. If cancer is found in nearby lymph nodes, radiation may be needed after surgery. Another option is chemo, but only if it wasn’t given before surgery.
Also Check: How To Empty Bladder Without Catheter
What Are The Different Surgeries For Incontinence
There are three main types of surgery for men who have incontinence after an RP:
Prostate Radiotherapy May Increase Bladder Cancer Risk
Patients with prostate cancer who undergo radiation treatment, especially brachytherapy, may be at increased risk of bladder cancer more than 10 years later, according to the results of a new study presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting. The study showed that bladder tumors that do develop are generally lower stage but higher grade.
The researchers analyzed data from the 1973-2011 Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database and found that bladder cancer developed in 6,401 o the 346,429 men who received radiotherapy for prostate cancer. The number was 2.6 higher than the expected incidence of bladder cancer in the general population. All radiation treatment modalities were associated with a higher relative risk of bladder cancer after 10 years, with the most significant risk for brachytherapy alone .
In adjusted analyses, brachytherapy was associated with a 3.5-fold, 2.9-fold, and 5.5-fold increased risk of bladder cancer after 10 years in Caucasians, African Americans, and other/unknown races, respectively, compared to men without a history of prostate cancer.
Recommended Reading: Bladder Tumor Removal Surgery Recovery